Fernando Alonso billboard, McLaren Andretti, IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2017

McLaren engine deal not sole factor – Alonso

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says McLaren’s engine deal is not the sole factor for deciding his destination for 2018.

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Comment of the day

@Strontium reckons Mika Hakkinen did the right thing by not returning to F1:

This sums up perfectly, in my opinion, why Schumacher should have not returned, and why Rosberg shouldn’t return in a few years (you never know). The sport moves on without you and after a few years out of racing you aren’t winning anything, and you have nothing more to prove. That’s a smart decision by Mika not to return in my opinion

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57 comments on “McLaren engine deal not sole factor – Alonso”

  1. “It will be published soon. I don’t want to speak on behalf of the FIA, since the FIA is going to give it, but everything will be done for F2 to become almost a prerequisite for F1.”

    That is BS ! F1 they say is the pinnacle of motorsport , then the talent should come from somewhere where they’ve proved their worth.

    1. @redbullf1 I concur entirely! This is terrible. Look at the current grid and how many drivers actually went through GP2 / F2. All this was started by Verstappen joining F1, and look at him now.

      This may well lead to an increase in pay drivers because the competition to get into F2 will be so high, only the heavily backed pay drivers will get F2 seats (and it’s already quite bad as it is), and hence F1 risks losing the very best future drivers as a result.

      Furthermore, those drivers who were good but didn’t get a chance in F1 won’t even be able to show what they can do in the next best series anymore.

      I’m sure the FIA knows what it’s doing better than me, but I’m not sure if it’s even legal. Surely at this point they are just outright abusing their position (which I understand is primarily responsibility, safety, organisation, etc., not business) to boost their own series.

      Thanks for the comment of the day Keith :)

      1. Duncan Snowden
        9th September 2017, 3:21

        “I’m sure the FIA knows what it’s doing better than me”

        I wish I could be.

      2. @strontium I fully agree with you and @redbullf1 and would even go further. With the rule that a Formula 2 champion is not allowed to defend his title, if you add the prerequisite it definitely means you’re screwed. Look at Pierre Gasly, he won the 2016 title but failed to secure a Toro Rosso seat, which already meant he’s now having to drive the Super Formula that nobody watches. I’m afraid I see the same happen with Leclerc if he doesn’t get a Sauber seat next year. And that would be an even worse outcome, since Leclerc is a step above Gasly if you ask me.

        Like you said, it’s also going to increase the amount of pay drivers. That results in the driver field becoming far less competitive. Just look at non-pay-drivers in F1 such as Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Vettel vs. pay-drivers such as Palmer and Stroll. The latter aren’t necessarily bad, but you don’t want more than a handful of those in a 20+ field.

        In other words: it would be better for Leclerc if he just started to lose races now to not win the title, just so he can pick some races next year to stand out and dominate again if he isn’t guaranteed a seat/contract yet. Combine that with the fact that an age restriction and F2 prerequisite are/will be in place, it’s just becoming a marketable driver factory that has nothing to do with talent. An utter farce. FIA get your act together.

      3. at the time, i felt verstappen’s promotion was too early and was subsequently roasted by haters, etc. yet, i still do and the way he is suffering this season without many results bears witness to that. as well as stroll, he will encounter the same fate – especially as he appears to have less in the talent department. nevertheless, in this era, without at least a season of f2, driver’s will quickly become frustrated that they aren’t on the podium every weekend. it’s not about talent or age, it’s about building emotional intelligence and technical expertise.

    2. I think the FIA can’t really justify this one. First they invented superlicense points, now they make their racing series almost compulsory. Every once in a while they gave a couple of superlicense’s to super wealthy drivers, now they want to monopolize the whole assembly line. The excuse is that very well funded drivers would otherwise pollute f1, so their answer is to force drivers to race in the most expensive categories in order to race in f1, which is only going to narrow the amount of people that can actually dream to ever get to f1, it’s only going to promote wealthy drivers even more.

    3. I think it’s to stop people paying their way straight from F3 to F1, like Stroll, while not being entirely ready when they get to F1. However, what if someone goes to Formula E, WEC, or DTM (like we’ve seen Wehrlein and Auer) and has shown that they’re good enough… Do they really need to do a year in F2 to show that they can perform.
      My only hope is the article says ‘almost compulsory’, which I hope means in cases like Wehrlein, as a recent example, they would allow him in without doing a season in F1, because he won DTM, a competitive category, at the age of 20.

      1. IMHO this has more to do with the F1 business model than any sporting reason. If the FIA can make all of the other championships irrelevant to upcoming drivers then their own championship is the only (Pay Per View) ticket in town.

      2. don’t believe Wehrlein and Auer are as good, mainly because they do not know how to set-up an F1 car. whereas someone like palmer, for example, does.

    4. May not be as bad as it sounds.
      Cost: F2/GP2 was created to lower cost of F3000. Even poorly sponsored Robin Frijns managed half a season (won 2nd weekend). Also many successful WSR / GP3 / Indy drivers need to progress to F2, but making F2 definitive can help them skip the cost in WSR etc and go straight from F3 to F2.

      Pay driver: rich kids like Stroll can get in with current point system (extremely easy to game in LMP1 if partnered with good driver in top team), at least they have to go through a spec series with F2

      Fun: why are we robbed the chance to know who’s the best driver in WSR / LMP1 / Indy Super / Formula / Formula E? Why not have them all compete? After graduating to F1, drivers drive non-spec cars so it’s never only about the driver again. The world needs a definitive driving competiton at the high power single seater level.

      1. KZ2 karting to F3 to F2 to F1, and spec everthing, if it’s up to me.

        1. Of course with no prerequisite from F2 and under.

      2. There is, IndyCar.

  2. Alonso might not even be Spanish for long if Catalonia breaks free.

    1. He is from Oviedo, Asturias (another region).

      1. I thought he used the Catalonian colours.

        1. @melthom He uses asturian colours (light blue and yellow), but he also uses red and yellow, which are both Cataluña and Spain’s colours.

        2. You may have gotten confused with Jaime Alguersuari, think he is from Catalunya. Also Oriol Servià.

          1. Theres no drivermixup. Many belives hes from Catalonia simply because they dont know much about Spain and his “homerace” is in Catalonia. Its easy to just asume the exotic blue/yellow is the Catalonian colors. I have heard that in many places.

          2. He supports Real Madrid football team. Red and yellow colours came from the spanish flag. The catalonian flag also have It, but it’s just a coincidence. Blue And yellow are from Asturias which is far away from catalonia.

  3. Are people reading real books anymore?
    Just these, instruction manuals in hard covers, it seems…
    As if they are all so empty and numb that they don’t know any other reward but material reward.

    1. Or perhaps one cannot find any good stories left to surprise, manuals are useful, that value is always there.

      1. That’s a groundless bs statement. Are you seriously suggesting there’s no good books to be read anymore?

  4. Did I miss it on this website that Minardi has claimed Renault and McLaren have already signed a deal?

  5. Every year it’s the same, Marlboro does not sponsor Ferrari, Phillip Morris owns the commercial rights for the Scuderia Ferrari, they already did own and they keep owning them, I’m not even sure if it’s a way to get around the tobacco ban or even a regrettable Ferrari strategy. Every single decal you see on the Ferrari is, Phillip Morris, they are the ones selling and profiting from their investment, Phillip Morris signs a deal with Ferrari for the value of such rights.

  6. While Phillip Morris receives ‘premium’ value from their association with Ferrari, Ferrari receives more than money – they receive guilt by association with a barely legal drug company. Cancer blood money to the smoking tune of $100M per year.

    The James Parrish (Business, marketing and brand partnerships in Formula E & F1 motorsport) article ends with this (rhetorical) question:
    “shouldn’t there be something (at least commercially) to celebrate and learn from here.”

    Celebrate? Commercially, sure – follow the money. However, morally, ethically, it’s nothing to celebrate but satisfying greed at any cost. That’s what I learned from Ferrari – a morally-bankrupt company run by morally-bankrupt management.

    If Phillip Morris/Ferrari want some talking head to spout their propaganda, the least they could do is spend $15.00 a year on proper unbranded hosting, instead of a tacky, free wix site for their mouthpiece to sound off and unfortunately get quoted on F1fanatic.

    1. It’s strange that just tobacco companies are banned while we got tons of publicity from alcohol, junk food or sugar loaded drinks. And what about oil companies that are responsible for heavy pollution, corruption and even wars. Then we have car companies cheating about pollution, gps hosted in countries with governments responsibles for several crimes (China, Bahrein, Russia, Turkey…) and so on.
      But no the problem is just Ferrari and Philip Morris.

      1. Right, according to this guy Red Bull shouln’t even sponsor anything F1 related, let alone own two F1 teams since it’s proven that energy drinks are very unhealthy and in some cases can lead to death.

    2. @jimmi-cynic
      I am not sure if this needs an answer or leave it as is in your hate world about Ferrari.

      1. I don’t hate Ferrari, I love the legend and many of their eras – not this one though. I do hate tobacco additions and the pain and death the tobacco industry creates. I’ve lost friends and family to smoking caused cancers. I engaged again with F1 when they rid themselves of these death-mongering companies.

        While Ferrari may not be violating the letter of the law – they are violating the spirit of the law of banning tobacco advertising. When everyone knows that Ferrari are sponsored (indirectly) by a major tobacco corporation, they are not even skirting the rules, they make a mockery of them.

        If Ferrari’s management decides to rid themselves of this cancerous funding source, I’d happily cheer for them. Until then, they are unworthy cheaters that can’t win fairly.

        1. Thanks for saying it so cleary. Glad that I’m not the only one that feels this way. Ferrari today is the worst ambassador of this sport. They represent all that is wrong with it – shady money grabbing and doing things just because they can – as they are in a position of power, like not giving interviews while all other teams do. I truly think the sport would be in a better place without them today.

    3. So alcohol is just fine……. Go figure

  7. The problem with F2 is that it is super expensive with very little benefit to your career. F3 is from 600.000 to 900.000£ depending whether you do the pre-season tests and macau or not. F2 is about 2-3 million pounds. And if F1 is from 5 million upwards then there is no point doing F2 anyways when you can do formula 3.5 for the same cost as F3.

    Here is an interesting link:

    With those prices it is clear why even the big managering teams like red bull, mclaren and ferrari and their young driver programmes don’t put their drivers into gp2/F2. It is just too expensive and gives very little extra after f3.

    1. If If they do it right they keep costs down and controller by the series. Then they need to fund F2 (and F3) with F1 money and prohibet teams from taking money from drivers and their sponsors. That’s the only way to keep pay drivers out.

    2. F2 is about 2-3 million pounds.

      Surely that explains why the FIA wants to encourage F1 teams to select F2 drivers and discourage the selection of drivers from other racing series. There are parents who spent their retirement funds and mortgaged the house on getting their child into F2, the child does well, gets podiums, etc, then finally a seat turns up in F1 … only to have someone who hasn’t even been in F2 get the seat.
      I don’t think this is actually the FIA’s business, I think this should be left to the teams, but it seems to me the reason F2 / GP2 exists is to train and stratify drivers for F1. In fact the F2 rules state the champion for each season is required to leave, so there is an expectation the season champion will get a seat in F1, yet that doesn’t always happen.
      I do wonder if part of the reason why teams prefer to use drivers who haven’t competed in F2 / GP2 is because those who do compete there have had to sign a contract that locks them into that series for a number of years, and if a seat turns up in F1 then the F1 team has to buy them out of their F2 / GP2 contract, which is expensive.

    3. @socksolid The longer term vision here from Liberty and FIA is to tie F2 more closely to F1 generating far greater commercial involvement through sponsorship, it is early days however if this is achieved it reduces the need for drivers to bring ‘cash’ by helping to fund the teams in F2. We need to understand this vision of where F2 is headed rather than basing looking to the current position that stems entirely from Bernie’s utter disinterest in promoting feeder series for the last 10+ years.

      1. Bernie owns/owned a small stake in gp2. And cvc owned big portion of it too. It was not lack of promotion. It is expensive series just because it is the series that was founded by flavio briatore to make money. And until some years ago there were two competing series for the feeders series for f1. F2 and gp2. And f1 was the considerably cheaper one of these. Not to forget that the main reason F2 came about was because gp2 was getting too expensive:

  8. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    9th September 2017, 8:12

    More over regulation, in an area that really isn’t an issue to start with. Let the teams pick the drivers they want based on what benefits them the most, it is there car and results after all. The super licence system is fine for keeping out completely inappropriate drivers already.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      9th September 2017, 10:16


  9. I’m struggling to decide between France and Hungary for my F1 visit next year. I really loved Hungary when I visited, but I’d also like to try somewhere new.

    Is Marseilles an interesting / friendly place to visit? Toulon was also an option.

  10. This whole, making F2 a prerequisite to be able to graduate to F1 thing is just a usual money herding, greedy business decision.
    In the business world, it’s common, if you have a desirable product, for example an industrial software solution, they make you pay more, by requiring to buy even another product (which is not really able to compete with in it’s own field) that you already could substitute with a better solution.
    Imagine if there is a high talent trashing the Super Fomula field, than he or she must go back one year to an inferior series to be able to graduate to F1…

  11. I fully expected Mercedes to write Singapore off this year. Given it doesn’t even seem to share characteristics with Monaco and Hungary it’s a bit of a lost cause to throw resources at for a single win when it’s the track other teams are most competitive at. If you’ve seen the film Moneyball then the strategy makes sense.

    Other circuits share certain characteristics. If you get a car that’s fast in Spain, that’s the track that has the most crossover for other circuits with its fast high-speed corners. It’s no surprise that Mercedes also took victory in China, Canada, Britain, Belgium and Italy. They also should have had Azerbaijan. Looking forward to the rest of the season, unless it’s super hot in Malaysia the odds look good for Mercedes at the remaining circuits.

    Hamiltons best hope in Singapore is a Red Bull 1-2, or if Vettel is up fighting in 1st or 2nd another DNF for Verstappen to mitigate the points lost to Vettel.

    1. @philipgb if they win in Singapore, that win could make the difference between winning the (drivers) world championship or not. They already have the winning car at many of the remaining tracks, as you said, so focusing on the area they are weakest makes sense to me.

      1. If I was Mercedes right now, my plan of action would be to outqualify Ferrari at the remaining tracks after Singapore. Preferably they’d have both cars ahead of Vettel. Have Bottas play rear gunner to Lewis and by the evidence of Spa where it wasn’t easy for Ferrari to overtake them, try and keep him behind or have to use a less than optimal strategy. This is especially possible since they seem to have cured their higher degradation issues that affected them in the first 4/5 races of the season.

        It’s probably their best chance to win the WDC along with the WCC.

      2. @strontium

        Part of what I’m hypothesising though is that abandoning Singapore is part of what gives them the strong car everywhere else.

        Getting a car to be fast at Spain has the most carryover to other tracks. I think Mercedes look at the resources needed to get their car on top in Singapore, see how little carryover that has to other circuits, and just place those resources elsewhere.

        I think they moneyball it.

  12. In a perfect world, Formula 1 has a dozen competetive teams, each of which have a car the driver can win races with, and the best of the best from all kinds of racing series: WEC, IndyCar, GP2, DTM etc. come to Formula 1 to challenge for the title.

    Now, what they are doing is the exact opposite to that. Whereas IndyCar is – and franky speaking, has always been – that way, and if Alonso goes there, it will reinforce the notion that it’s the place to go if you want to challenge yourself against the best.

    1. I wouldn’t say that Indycar is that much more even than other series – after all, the same handful of teams have won both titles for many years now (such as Andretti or Penske). Pretty much every single race for the past decade has been won by only four teams, and most have gone to just two or three teams – it may be a spec series, but all teams will say that the teams with the biggest budgets still dominate.

      1. The same handful of teams ALMOST always win is that the three top teams are four car strong. It is a huge strength for the teams and a weakness for the series. Andretti run 6 cars, Penske 5 and Ganassi 4. There is half your field so the chance of a winner coming form one of these is bigger. Simple maths. Note that the Coyne and Schmidt Peterson are three car teams.


        One of the reasons that these owners can run large teams is that they can have different sponsors on each car they field. Something that F1 prohibits.

  13. @damon this is bang on

    1. (That was meant to be in response to the comment above)

  14. If F2 is to be a prerequisite for F1, the F2 champion should be guaranteed 2 consecutive years in F1 immediately after winning the F2 championship.

    1. Wasn’t Jolyon Palmer a Gp2 champion?

      1. In the 12 years the GP2 championship existed, only six drivers directly jumped to F1. The others either never made it (e.g. Fabio Leimer) or had to wait a year before they entered. I’m also counting Giorgio Pantano who had I believe an F1 season’s worth of races under his belt before being booted out of Jordan, and after winning the GP2 championship never made it back to F1.

  15. One of the requirements by Alondo to sign with McHonda is that his teammate be again Nelson Piquet Jr.
    He wants to repeat that innocent trick of Singapore 2008 to win.

  16. Regarding the dominance of F2 in the superlicence points, I’m ambivalent.

    On the one hand the road to the top tier should be a pyramid: the higher you climb, the more exclusive it gets. Now with F2 as sole supplier, it’s lineair. There is not much to choose for F1-teams. There should always be more than one pond to fish in.

    On the other hand, the base of the pyramid (karting) is too wide. There are too many different karting series, which results in that many series are half full and there is too much competition between the series. No-one benefits from that.

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